The Board of Eyes
I never knew the darkness could vibrate – through the waves of macabre curse dancing on its own – wrestling with the mindset of ordinary individuals like me while re-modeling my truly pessimistic reality. No doubt, a combination of increasing wealth, foreign stimulation, and political instability throughout the Warrior Farm allowed that darkness to flourish. I felt how the air sang and spun, making my heart ‘tick’ in a sad abnormal way.
The portraits of women – perhaps, the previous wives of Alphonso Beard – hung on the walls above the long line of tombs and broken skulls. I noticed the play of the curious hues in the twilight of the stones as if they invited me to share my life force with them. So far, my extraordinary journey was a fabulous adventure in search of Sobekneferu. Still, the nostalgia of seeing again my little town, Rsa, as well as thought-provoking conversations with my boss, Mr. Killing, and most importantly, the traditional tea parties at my mother’s house made me long for home.
Eventually, all good things must come to an end, I thought, watching how the dozen of the artificial flying eyes invaded the room to shock me. I waved my hands left and right in a naïve attempt to pose as a real fighter. The most spectacular thing I had achieved was an erection.
The floor creaked beneath me: two unusual items suddenly appeared in the center. One of them was a silver chair encrusted with diamonds. Another – an elegant, freestanding golden bathtub, clean and shiny. I selected a small area between the bath and the demonic chair and secured my position in a highly visible location.
“Do you know that the previous doctor is buried right under your feet? Together with my 13th ex-wife, each of them mummified and in its own small coffin,” asked the familiar voice of Warrior Farm’s ruler. The eyes, intrigued or angry, began to buzz and swirl around the spot where I stood, waiting for an answer.
“I didn’t know, but thanks for sharing it with me. I guess this makes quite an impression on new visitors of the Meeting Hall.” I replied.
“Let me remind you, we keep a detailed record of all our conversations in a digital format. Can we proceed, Judge?” asked the calm voice of Alphonse. Only then did I realize that I was not alone in the room: Mrs. Hydra was standing right behind me. She held something flashing in her hands – a shocking electric whip.
“Shoot!” Mrs. Hydra barked. She moved from one corner to another, enjoying my trembling appearance. In my mind, I had convinced myself that I had already lived far longer than it might have been expected in this area of sick wilderness, and luck was not on my side. Not this time…
The procedure started. I don’t know how many odd medical questions I answered before two women of an eerie beauty entered the room and filled the bathtub with warm red filth. They invited me to relax before the next session of questions and handed me a glass of acid green margarita. I don’t know why, but I got a feeling it was an ordinary operation. After a couple of hours of soaking in the muddy bath, I was invited to the chair of Thanatos.
“If the next answer is a lie, the electric nods in each diamond will perforate your cells with 40,000 volts,” explained Mrs. Hydra sweetly.
“Why should I lie? I’m innocent.”
“You lied that you are a doctor,” she whispered. The eyes got back to life, and unexpected rain of interrogative questions fell over me. During that procedure, the gang of strong soldiers appeared on my far left. They started to build something very similar to the guillotine.
“Do you agree with the proposition of our Board?” Asked Judge Hydra. She was smiling and dancing, her belly covered in nasty sweat.
“I don’t, and I do… Would you be so kind as to repeat it? I’ve missed the last question because these men in the room had distracted me,” I sobbed.
“Did you know that Mrs. Sweet Hellfire was the artist behind the infinity sign on the napkins?” asked the angry voice from the humming eye above me.
“I didn’t. Isn’t she a dentist?”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean she can’t draw… We do not allow this kind of discrimination in our town. Creativity is our birthright!”
For a moment, I lost control and couldn’t figure out what was happening. I felt the arms of Mrs. Hydra on my neck, then a chair transformed and softly embraced our two bodies. Every eye in the room was watching us. I could feel a new bloom of heat in my already burning core.
“Of course, I do not argue with that,” I staggered. I felt like a sneak, but my survival instinct – once more – swallowed the rest of my pride and honor.
“You know what I like about you? Your stuffed crab,” Mrs. Hydra said, surprising me with the firm touch of her nails on my groin. Her eyes filled with lust, and she welcomed my cheerful toy to her coral reef of salacity.
“Am I dreaming?” I muttered. My heart was pounding like crazy; the chill of death was entirely gone.
We lay on the floor of red and green granite; our naked bodies occupied by the sexual force. The floor-bed was wet and gentle, probably because that particular spot was reused more often as it should. I got scared that my name had been already erased from the minds of the Board and the body of Mrs. Hydra was some kind of consolation. It seemed logical… But to my surprise, the hatch in the floor had opened, and I fell down – into the morning light – where Medusa and Jellywobble were already waiting for me.
“You are cleared, Mr. Harmless. Congratulations! Here is a gift from the Board.” Said the guard with the nametag ‘Jellywobble.’ He ceremonially led me to a bench under an elderberry tree, covered with sickly-smelling napkins. Under the tree, in a basket, rested a large nonvenomous (yellow) phyton.
“Her name is Miss Asunción; she just arrived from Southeast Africa. Mr. Alphonso Beard has ordered her for your needs as a companion.”
“I hope she’s tame,” I mumbled.
“We don’t know, and I wouldn’t worry about that if I were you.” The second guard, Medusa, chuckled.
“I don’t think doctors should have phytons as… hm, companions.” I grabbed the nearest infinity napkin and covered my exposed ‘gear’ with it. My last words seemed to plunge the two young men into a gloomy silence.
“Miss Asunción is 100% dedicated to the real friends of the Warrior Farm; that’s all we know.” Explained Medusa.
“What does it mean?” I inquired nervously. The glare of four blank eyes didn’t stop me. I grabbed the basket handle and said, “Okay, I see, I see… Some people got armadillos as their dedicated friends. Why not a deadly rock phyton in my case? After all, there’re some things a man’s just gotta have with a wife like mine. Or, perhaps, instead…”
Next: Day 27. Beneath Your Feet